Nancy Elaine Bell was born in Lindsay, Ontario on June 8, 1944 to parents George Arnold and Phoebe (Burtchael) Bell. In time she was joined by two younger brothers. The Bell family soon relocated to Windsor where Nancy completed both her public and high school education.
She was a natural caregiver from an early age and this was further realized in her teenage years when she became a camp counsellor. Following high school, she enrolled in the Nursing program at Queen’s University in Kingston. She had found her true calling and graduated in 1966. Nancy specialized in pediatrics and soon took a job opportunity at SickKids in Toronto. She loved her time at SickKids and was always trying to make the life of a sick child just a little bit better! In the early 1970’s Nancy moved to Cambridge to become the Head Nurse of the Pediatrics Department at Cambridge Memorial Hospital. It was here, in 1974, that she was introduced to RuthAnn Bastert, a Ward Clerk. Over the next few years, the friendship and relationship flourished and RuthAnn, and her daughter Peggy, moved in with Nancy.
It was around this time that Nancy went to work for Schneiders in Kitchener, where she joked she did her fair share of sewing! 🙂 Around 1980, Nancy and RuthAnn headed north to a friend’s cottage on Manitoulin Island. The women fell in love with the Island immediately, the people, the wilderness, and the scenery! By 1981, they had left the city life behind and called the Island home. They settled in the village of Sheguindah, and never looked back. Nancy soon found work on the Wikwemikong First Nations Reserve as a nurse. She loved her time there and became a true member of the community. She enjoyed her job so much, she saw no reason to retire or stop and continued working until 2014, retiring at the age of 70.
In her free time, Nancy enjoyed figure skating, swimming, gardening, and who could forget fishing. The daily catch usually ended as a fabulous dinner with RuthAnn. Nancy was an active member of the Lion’s Club, beginning in Kitchener in the late 70’s. She truly lived a life following their motto, “We Serve” and remained active on the Island in the Little Current Club. If she could do something for someone else, Nancy would! Nancy enjoyed the winter months, loved crosswords, and had an eclectic taste in music. Just ask RuthAnn and Peggy about Nancy’s fascination with Much Music video back in the day, it won’t disappoint! She enjoyed Halloween, and absolutely loved dressing up for the occasion. Nancy was also very fond of her four-legged friends, K9’s Max and Emily. They were like her children and she loved them dearly.
Nancy was a loving, caring woman, who always put the needs of others, especially RuthAnn’s, before her own. Nancy’s girls and finally one grandson were very dear to her heart. She always went above and beyond the duties of a mom, grandma and great grandmother. Her nickname was “Gan”. Gan was our best friend, confidant, personal medical advisor, protector and “our rock,” that we could always lean on. She was fun-loving, happy, and loved joking with those around her. As a caregiver, she drew people in and was blessed with many friends. These friends, as well as her family, have many fond memories of this remarkable woman. Thankfully, Nancy’s life and memory will live on in the many memories and stories we share of her. She will be missed!
Nancy and RuthAnn had just moved to Port Elgin, to be closer to family, when she passed away suddenly at Hanover & District Hospital on Monday, September 28, 2020 in her 77th year.
Beloved partner and best friend of RuthAnn Bastert. Loving mother of Peggy and her husband David Carter of Chesley. Cherished grandmother of Shawna MacDougall (Josh Carden), Krystal (Dave) Desjardins, Leah MacDougall (Mustaf Omar) and great-grandmother of MacKenzie, Ella, Madelynne, Samantha, Savannah and Mason. Nancy was predeceased by her mother Phobea Bell.
In respecting Nancy’s wishes, private family services will be held.
Memorial donations to SickKids Foundation would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.